Posts in Category "Under the hood"

June 17, 2009

Captivate 4 update page

Adobe Captivate 4 patch update is already live and many must have already installed it. Some customers faced problems installing the update from the Adobe Updater due to security reasons, firewalls set in their organizations.

Now Adobe Captivate 4 patch update is also available on web and can be downloaded from the following link -

http://www.adobe.com/support/captivate/downloads.html

You just need to download the patch ZIP file, unzip it and run the ‘setup.exe’.

To know more about the issues resolved in patch update, please click here.

Posted by Mukul Vinay Lele12:31 PM Permalink
June 11, 2009

Productivity tip: Quickly convert auto captions to voice over narration

Audio narration is an integral part of an eLearning course and till now one needed to hire external resources to do voice overs to their projects. Gone are those days – You can now do it yourself using Adobe Captivate 4’s new text-to-speech feature.

But there is one limitation in this. Only the text in slide notes panel can be converted to speech. Now when recording (capturing) an application, Captivate generates auto captions for all the steps involved. This is a huge time saver.  You might now want to convert these captions to audio narration, as these captions are already telling a story and you don’t want to reinvent the wheel. You can do it in following way –

  • Go to each slide. Find the captions you want to convert. Write the text to notes panel and convert to speech.
  • To save time you can copy paste the text of captions to notes panel.

The drawback to above approach is that there is a lot of manual steps needed and finding each caption and pasting it to the notes panel in a large project can be tedious.

Here is a simple tip to enhance your productivity in converting these auto captions to voice over narrations:

  • Open the captured project where you want to use this functionality.
  • Go to menu – Audio -> Record. You get the following dialog. Though this is audio recording dialog but we will use just a part of its functionality to alter our slide notes –

Continue reading…

Posted by Rajeev Kumar7:28 PM Permalink
May 30, 2009

Captivate 4 patch update

Adobe Captivate 4 patch is now LIVE!

Today we released a patch for Adobe Captivate 4 patch. The key driver for this patch was the degradation in audio quality as reported by some of our customers. This update fixes several elements that were causing issues in the audio workflow. It also includes fixes for some other niggling concerns that were reported/ discovered post launch. The full details are below.

Do note that the Captivate 4 patch is not a critical update and hence will not be downloaded automatically on your systems. You will need to follow the menu items ‘Help > Updates’ and download the patch update. Once the update installs, Captivate 4 version number should read 1658.

Let me now run you through the fixes which have been included in this patch:

  • Audio Quality improvement –
    • In Captivate 4, some users observed poor audio quality in the published movie. We’ve addressed all the elements that caused this issue. With this patch you will see a noticeable improvement in the audio quality.
  •       USB Microphone support for Vista setups  and working well with RealTek and Sigma Tel soundcards –

    Captivate failed to recognize USB microphones on the Vista OS. Also, in some instances, specific sound cards were not recognized. Both these issues have now been resolved in the patch.

  • Open another project’ now works from any location –

    In Captivate 4, the navigation option ‘open another project’ was based on an absolute path. This led to issues when these linked projects were published and moved to a different location. This has now been resolved.

  • Inserting objects at playhead position –

    We have worked on an important productivity issue. Now it’s possible to insert objects at the exact position the playhead is on. This is helpful for content developers as they can easily play the slide on timeline, pause the slide at a specific time, and insert objects at the playhead position.

  • Memory Leak in Image insertion and Editing –

    Few customers had reported memory leak issues while inserting and editing images. These have been investigated. The leak was significant only in a specific case and has been resolved now.

  • Image quality while resizing is improved -

    There was some degradation in the image quality when images were resized inside Captivate 4. This patch will help address this.

  • HTML page Title –

    Captivate now picks up the title name from Project preferences > Project name section. This name appears as the HTML title when the project is published and viewed in a browser.

  • Question Type identification by LMS –

    This addresses a specific scenario in LMS reporting. We have worked on the way the question type data is reported to LMS systems.

  • PPT slides containing Master Templates work well with Captivate –
  • Some PPT files containing Master templates were getting corrupted once published from Captivate 4. This has now been resolved.

  • Widget Template is modified –

    Widget template had a few undefined variables which created compiling problems. This has been sorted out in this patch update.

We believe this patch will enhance your Captivate 4 experience. We look forward to your feedback on this.

Update: All those who cannot use the auto-updater to install the patch, can now download it from here: http://www.adobe.com/support/captivate/downloads.html

Posted by Mukul Vinay Lele7:55 PM Permalink
May 29, 2009

Don’t let low bandwidth stop you from wearing that genious hat!!

You make a nice captivate movie with all jazz and background audio. And there pops up a hidden glitch – end users of your captivate movie are short on bandwidth. But you, Mr. genious knows it pretty well that you have pre-loaders in Captivate to your rescue. So you go ahead and set the pre-loader percentage to 10%. This would mean that the movie will start playing when 10% of the content has loaded, with the remaining content  loading as the movie plays. Wow!! You punch the air and all that….

Next day you get your users complaining that your preloader ‘rocket science’ is not working at all. The movie content loads 100% before starting regardless of preloader setting. Amused?? What did you do wrong?? Confused??…well this post will help you.

your problem is…

Your movie has background audio across the movie. Ideally, as soon as the movie is loaded(after 10% preloading), the content should start playing. But to play the first slide, the associated audio is needed and since there is only one big audio file, Captivate attempts to load the entire audio file(irrespective of the slides) prior to play the content. And this eats up the bandwidth.

….and the solution is….

Inside Captivate, for each slide start the audio after 0.1 second. This prevents the audio to be stiched as one huge audio file in the final output. Consequently this would prevent the need to load the entire audio when you don’t intend to do so. And your content will start playing flawlessly with audio once 10% of the entire content is loaded (assuming that you set pre-loader=10%). Rest of the content loads in background.

So with this solution you could once again wear that genious hat. WOW!!

,,,,

Posted by Manish Anand1:16 PM Permalink

positioning your capture red area to the application boundaries

The workflow to do screen recordings has been changed in Adobe Captivate 4. The new workflow is more intuitive and user friendly. But do you sometimes feel that you are not able to position your recording area on the application exactly as you want.

For example – You want to record the browser window .In the scenario below you are not able to clearly position the window since the buttons of the capture window are blocking the browser window at corners

Would it help you if you were to hide the buttons and then reposition and resize the capture window. Press ALT and H key simultaneously. The window will look like the image below with buttons gone. You can position the capture window wherever you want.

When you are done press ALT and H simultaneously again. The buttons will come back as in image below –

 

Posted by Rajeev Kumar11:40 AM Permalink

Capturing scrollbars no more a menace

“I’m creating a demo on how to access a particular website. For distribution reasons I’m using a low res 800 X 600. This means that web pages need a lot of scrolling to navigate them. When playing back, the scrolling happens OK but then the image appears to jump back to the beginning of the scroll so that the mouse movements and text captions that follow are, although in the place they should be in relation to the viewing screen, are not pointing at the right bit of the web page.”

I am sure most of you must have experienced this scenario while capturing scrollbars using Adobe Captivate. Please see the following Captivate movie to get a hang of the issue, which is not exactly an issue but a preference option not utilised…. 

In order to avoid this issue please follow these steps prior to start automatic recording:

  • Launch Captivate and press Shift + F8. This launches the preferences dialog.
  • Browse to recording -> Settings.
  • On the right hand side there is a checkbox capture interim screenshot
  • Uncheck this option. Press Ok.

Now if you start automatic recording and  do the same scenario you would not run into the above issue.

Now in case if you face this issue and you are a position where-in you cannot re-capture then please see the following Captivate demo. This demo shows how to get the correct the slide image during edit time.

,,,


var addthis_pub=”shameerayyappan”;

var gaJsHost = ((“https:” == document.location.protocol) ? “https://ssl.” : “http://www.”);
document.write(unescape(“%3Cscript src=’” + gaJsHost + “google-analytics.com/ga.js’ type=’text/javascript’%3E%3C/script%3E”));

try {
var pageTracker = _gat._getTracker(“UA-7747520-1″);
pageTracker._trackPageview();
} catch(err) {}

Posted by Manish Anand1:37 AM Permalink
April 27, 2009

VTML tags in Text to Speech !

VTML (VoiceText Markup Language) – This Powerful hidden gem in Text to Speech helps you control the generated speech by adding pause, changing the pitch etc !

This post on customizing text to speech Pronunciations received many comments requesting a way to control the generated speech with html like tags.

The interesting thing is that this feature is already there in Captivate 4 ! Even more interesting is the fact that it is so simple to use. All you need to do is insert the appropriate tags into the slide notes. You can type in (or copy paste) the tags just like you do any other text.

Just before making this post, I quickly tried few of them:
1. Hello I am here <vtml_pause time=”1000″/> for a break: Introduces a pause of 1 sec in between.
2. <vtml_speed value=”50″> This is my text </vtml_speed>: Helps you control the speed of the text

There are many more similar useful tags. The VTML tags are listed in the Appendix C of the document here. It has a examples as well on the usage.

Posted by Sony Kadavan2:10 PM Permalink
April 14, 2009

Shifting to Adobe eLearning suite – reuse your existing eLearning content

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Adobe eLearning suite consists of a set of products along with Adobe Captivate 4 and Adobe Presenter 7 using which you can create any kind of eLearning courses. With this you will not need any other eLearning tool in your arsenal. But when organizations decide to switch to a new product their foremost worry could be about existing content they have created using other tools. Well you need not worry about losing them. You can still use them inside Adobe Captivate and other products in eLearning suite.

For example – Files created in Articulate® Presenter can be opened and edited in Adobe Presenter. The original Articulate presentation is never modified; a copy of the presentation is converted and opened in Adobe Presenter. The Articulate assets folder should be available along with the Articulate presentation file. Without the asset folder and its contents, Articulate features cannot be imported into the presentation when it is opened in Adobe Presenter.

Adobe Presenter supports most Articulate Presenter data, including Flash, audio, and quiz information (as long as the Articulate Presenter assets folder is available).

What is not supported –

  1. The following Articulate Presenter features are not supported: Learning Games, Engage Interactions, Insert Web Object.
  2. Adobe Presenter does not support all Articulate Presenter question types. Unsupported questions are not imported during the conversion process. A detailed log report (ConversionLog.log) is generated at the end of the conversion process and provides details about the conversion, including an dropped questions.”

For complete details visit Adobe Presenter 7 help files. This is how you can do it –

In PowerPoint, open a presentation (PPT or PPTX file) created in Articulate Presenter.

  1. In the conversion dialog box, click Yes.
  2. Choose a name and save location for the converted presentation.
  3. (Optional) To view information in the conversion log file, click View Log. (You can also use Windows Explorer at any time to view thelog file. Navigate to the location you specified in step 3, right-click the ConversionLog.log file, and select Open with > Notepad.)
  4. After the conversion process finishes, click Close.
  5. In Adobe Presenter, edit the new, converted file and add Adobe Presenter features as desired.

Click here or on the image below to see how to do it.It will open up Adobe Captivate 4 generated file.

Next post – We will see how you can use output files of Articulate inside Adobe Captivate 4.

Posted by Rajeev Kumar10:23 PM Permalink
April 10, 2009

Aggregator and Audio

Some Cp4 users have reported that when the Aggregator starts playing content movies- in certain scenarios sound from subsequent movies in the aggregator plays for a fraction of a second while the first movie is still playing. This issue is prominently seen in Firefox browser, although it occurs in Internet explorer some times.

There is an easy workaround for this issue:

Continue reading…

Posted by Sunil Muthiyan7:46 PM Permalink
April 2, 2009

Captivate Library

,

Captivate accepts high quality images, animations, FLVs, audio files etc. Content generation is an iterative process and hence content developers use these resources across different sections of their project, and even across multiple projects. Captivate keeps track of all your resources to allow you to use it the next time. All these resources are placed in the  "Captivate Library".

Let’s look at this basic but very powerful functionality which Adobe Captivate provides.

So, where is this ‘Library’ located?

Once you launch Adobe Captivate and open a blank project, go to Edit view and from the menu item select ‘Window > Library’ or use the shortcut ‘ctrl-alt-L’

Library will show you the way it classifies your resources. i.e. Audio, Background, Images, Media and Presentations. Any resource you insert in your Captivate project will be placed in the library under appropriate category. Now let’s look at the key features the Captivate library provides -

a] Easy access to resources

How often do you use the same image,audio clip or the same animation in a single project. Once you import the resource for the first time, you can just identify the resource in the library and drag and drop it on your slide the next time. Easy, isnt it!

b] Use resources from another CP file

Same resources are used in many different projects. Hence the library allows you to open and use the resources of any other Captivate project. To do this, just use the button ‘Open Library’ > click it and then point it to the other Captivate project.

c] Import many resources in a single step

You know in advance which all resources you are going to use in you project. In this case,the Library allows you to Import many resources at a time. Thus it will save time. Now you can use resources from library and drag and drop on the concerned slide.

d] Details about Size, Usage

It’s very important to keep an eye on the size of final published swf. Although .swf compresses the data, lesser the size of original project, better it is. Hence you can keep a check on the resource file sizes from the library itself. Library gives the size details for each resource you import inside Captivate.

Wondering where all you have used a specific resource. It’s easy to find. Just identify the resource in the library, right click and select ‘usage’. Captivate gives you the slides on which the selected resource has been used.

e] Delete unused resources

Last but not the least, a very powerful utility, "Delete unused resources". As I said, content creation is an iterative process and the user inserts and removes many images, videos etc. Once removed from slide, they still continue to exist inside the Captivate project. This is done to allow you to use it, whenever needed, right from the library. But once your CP file size increases, it’s always better to remove all unused resources from the Captivate project. To allow this, Captivate provides a small button just at the top of library, "Select unused items". Click it to select all the resources which are not being used in Captivate project. Right next to it is the ‘Delete’ button. It allows you to delete all these selected unused resources from the Captivate project.

These and many more functionalities are provided by Captivate library. Do use it and make your life simpler!

Posted by Mukul Vinay Lele7:57 PM Permalink
March 5, 2009

Cp files disappearing in Captivate 3

,,

Some Captivate 3 users have faced a strange and unfortunate problem of .cp file suddenly disappearing after saving and closing the captivate. A possible reason for this has been analyzed and fixed in Captivate 4.

However for the Captivate 3 users I can suggest a possible workaround to recover the project. If this problem happens, immediately look for a .tmp file (after closing Captivate) in the same folder where your .cp file was supposed to be. If you are able to find this then you are lucky – Rename this file to .cp and you can continue working then on. You might also notice in certain cases, that this .tmp file is much larger size than the original .cp file. This is but nothing to worry – next save on the renamed file will reduce this size back to normal.

var addthis_pub=”shameerayyappan”;

Posted by Sony Kadavan9:30 AM Permalink
February 20, 2009

Changing default captions in TOC

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Image 1. Default TOC

 

Image 1 shows the default captions in TOC that Adobe Captivate creates. Captivate allows us to change the captions in TOC so that the TOC can look like the example shown in Image 2.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Image 2. TOC with changed captions

 

Now let’s see how we can do it.

Continue reading…

Posted by Sunil Muthiyan6:24 PM Permalink
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